Healthcare businesses can undoubtedly be profitable. The only issue is the competitive nature of the industry. It’s such a large sector with so many organizations – how do you make your company stand out?
If you’re thinking of getting involved in this industry, here are a few tactics and ideas that will set you apart from the competition and encourage more success:
Focus On The Patient Experience
Patients should always come first in a healthcare business. Effectively, they are your customers, but you are providing a level of care to them. One of the biggest issues for healthcare companies is a lack of good patient care. People aren’t going to return if you don’t treat them right.
From the offset, implement ideas and systems that provide a better patient experience than anyone else. This can include things like:
Making life easier for patients with an online booking system
Providing both on-site and at-home visits depending on what the patient prefers
Offering extra services for free to improve patient satisfaction
Designing a good waiting area that keeps patients comfortable
Employing diverse staff and letting patients choose who they see based on their preferences
The list can go on forever, but you get the point. Make your healthcare business the best one for patients to visit. No matter what services you offer, everything should be built around creating a top-level experience that encourages repeat customers.
Specialize In Niche Healthcare Services
When starting your company, have a long hard think about the healthcare services you should provide.
If you want to stand out, consider specializing in niche services for patients. Think about things people might be eager to pay for or get help with. For example, you can set up a clinic that’s entirely dedicated to back pain. It’s a common problem for many individuals – but you can go one step further to stand out even more.
Implement services within your business focused on niche problems. Instead of general back pain help, have services dedicated to back pain caused by sitting down too much, back pain caused by office work, back pain caused by gaming, and so on.
You start pandering to very select audiences and can become a go-to provider of these niche services. Someone who works at an office all day is more likely to come to you for back pain as you’ve got a specific service that’s directed at them. If you just had a service for general back pain, it makes you seem like less of a specialist and they may think twice before booking.
Grow Your Online Presence & Reputation
Having an online presence is something so many healthcare companies don’t think about. The chances are most of your clients will find out about you from the Internet. After all, it’s where the majority of patients begin their healthcare journey.
Therefore, you need to establish an online presence to ensure people actually find your business. Primarily, you should work on SEO and growing a search engine presence. Working with a company like Cardinal Digital Marketing can help as its specifically geared towards marketing healthcare businesses. This means you can target the best keywords and get your website in the most relevant searches.
Beyond this, you should establish an online reputation as well. You want people to find your business and immediately see you as one of the most trustworthy providers within your niche. The aim is to leave prospective patients with no doubt that your services are the best they can find.
Funnily enough, improving your search ranking does wonders for your reputation. When patients see your site near the top of the search page, it automatically makes them think you’re credible. Alongside this, you could explore other methods to improve your online rep, such as:
Designing a modern and responsive website
Implementing a seamless online booking system (again)
Adding reviews to your website
Setting up a Google Business page with as much information as possible
Adding social proof to your website (this includes reviews, but can also be things like security certificates, qualifications, accreditations, etc.)
Getting articles posted on established news sites
Listing your business in online directories
All of these ideas slowly grow your reputation and build trust with potential patients. It makes them feel more comfortable taking a chance and booking an appointment. This can help you stand out from your rivals and secure more bookings at their expense!
Be Innovative In Your Approach To Healthcare
Remember when we talked about targeting a niche? You can take things up another notch by taking your niche services and innovating them. To be honest, it’s arguable that providing niche services is already innovating, but we want to do more!
Look at the way you carry out services – is there a way you can innovate and come up with something cool that others aren’t doing? The best approach is to look at technology or modern healthcare practices. A brilliant example of this is a dentist business offering things like invisible braces or using new teeth whitening tech that’s more effective. You’re doing things that rival companies aren’t doing, setting a new standard and leading the way in your mini-industry.
Any healthcare business you can think of could be innovated in one way or another using technology. Hell, even something very simple can go a long way – like creating your own mobile app. How many healthcare companies do you know with an app? Patients can download it, create an account, and have immediate access to a portal. From here, they can book appointments, manage payments, contact the business, and so much more. This is a brilliant example of where innovation doesn’t have to directly affect the way you conduct services – it can be implemented in other ways!
Innovation is always a smart and viable way of standing out. You introduce new ideas and concepts, giving patients a reason to choose you over others. You’ll know if your innovations are working as all of your rivals will soon start copying.
Create Membership Programs
A membership program is a way of encouraging patients to stick with your business in the long run. From a healthcare perspective, they also tackle a big issue in the industry: payments.
Affordable healthcare is hard to come by, particularly if people don’t have healthcare insurance. Or, if their insurance doesn’t cover certain services – like massages, physiotherapy, etc. You could set up membership programs where patients pay a fee per year and have access to different services. Set the programs into tiers, with the most expensive ones covering more treatments per year while offering discounts on any extra treatments.
It’s such a smart way of a) lowering the cost of healthcare for patients that need certain services regularly, and b) encouraging repeat business from patients. The trick is to make the programs good value-for-money. It should be clear to patients that joining them is more affordable than paying every time, especially if they need regular assistance or have to come for regular checkups.
Plus, you still have your standard rates for services that people can choose if they want. The difference between you and other companies is that you now have alternative ways for people to pay.
And on that note, it’s time to wrap things up. If you want to start a healthcare business, you can take solace in the fact that it is possible to stand out. While the industry is highly competitive, these five strategies prove that you can get the edge over your rivals. Keep them in mind if you begin a healthcare business journey today.